Ferrari's slogan before the duel between Sainz and Leclerc

The two drivers start on an equal footing with the common goal that the 'Scuderia' progress. Binotto warns: "No one is above the team."


Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have not come to Ferrari for their showcase, but for their projection. The presentation of the team last Friday confirmed the change in character of the Scuderia, from the solemnity of the world champions to the complicity of two twentysomethings chatting in Italian, the youngest line-up since 1968 (then Jacky Ickx and Chris Amon). This policy corresponds to a new attitude from the garage: no priority drivers, the stopwatch and the track will distribute responsibilities without leaders or squires. The first driver is Ferrari.

The 26-year-old from Madrid knows that he is the newcomer and brings the lesson learned. "This year it will be very difficult for me to beat Leclerc, but I will do my best in everything I do," he advanced. He is aware in any case that his adaptation process to Ferrari will weigh in the first months against the 23-year-old Monegasque, before his third campaign in red and after minimizing Vettel. Charles knows better the mechanics, "the tricks", and it will be easier for him to extract the last tenths of the Ferrari, those that only appear with the maximum of confidence. Nor is the direct comparison with Leclerc in 2021 a concern for the Spaniard.

However, Sainz underlines: "You always have to find a balance between being competitive with respect to your reference, the partner, but here the fundamental thing is the team. We will both go hard to help the team progress. We have already started well. foot, we get along and have spent a lot of time together in Maranello during January and February. We can move forward. I have never had a problem with teammates, I don't know why I would have one with Charles now. "

Leclerc, for his part, does not hide: "I am here to win everyone, also my partner, who is the one who drives the same car as me." But he is consistent: "Carlos wants to beat me and I want to beat him. But on the track we will be careful when we fight each other, always keeping in mind what is best for the team. And separating what happens on and off the track. , because we must work together to improve the car. Carlos is very competitive, but he is also here for the benefit of Ferrari, as I am. We will be smart ".

"Nobody is above the team"

By allusions, Binotto clarifies the perspective from Maranello: "The team matters, it counts for itself and no individual is above. To be world champions we have to beat the rest of the cars and drivers first. When we have the fastest car, and we have the two fastest drivers, they can fight each other. " But this year he has not applied the priority label, as he did with Vettel when he arrived in 2019, which aroused so much controversy when the new boy was on the heels of the four-time champion. The Swiss engineer burdened with the fights between Seb and Leclerc, or his unfortunate crashes in Brazil 2019 and Styria 2020. From now on, when in doubt, the first driver is always Ferrari.

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